Title: Cutie and the Beast
Author: E.J. Russell
Series: Fae Out of Water #1
Genre: M/M Paranormal Romance
Available: 24th July
Temp worker David Evans has been dreaming of Dr. Alun Kendrick ever since that one transcription job for him, because holy cats, that voice. Swoon. So when his agency offers him a position as Dr. Kendrick’s temporary office manager, David neglects to mention that he’s been permanently banished from offices. Because, forgiveness? Way easier than permission.
Alun Kendrick, former Queen’s Champion of Faerie’s Seelie Court, takes his job as a psychologist for Portland’s supernatural population extremely seriously. Secrecy is paramount: no non-supe can know of their existence. So when a gods-bedamned human shows up to replace his office manager, he intends to send the man packing. It shouldn’t be difficult—in the two hundred years since he was cursed, no human has ever failed to run screaming from his hideous face.
But cheeky David isn’t intimidated, and despite himself, Alun is drawn to David in a way that can only spell disaster: when fae consort with humans, it never ends well. And if the human has secrets of his own? The disaster might be greater than either of them could ever imagine.
Source: ARC from Riptide Publishing via NetGalley
This was fun, a lot of fun, mostly because I absolutely loved David. He’s a little bit geeky, occasionally clumsy, but he’s determined and endearing and caring and funny and wonderfully stubborn that he’s going to keep this new job, regardless of what he’s grouchy beast of a boss has to say. I loved David’s quirkiness and the way he handled Alun’s interesting array of clients. In fact I would have been perfectly happy to have stayed in this part of the plot forever. After all, there’s plenty of scope to be found tackling the psychological issues of a supernatural community.
But this book isn’t just about David, it’s about Alun too. Or, more accurately, his curse. Because Alun is a high lord of the fae, once powerful and beautiful and arrogant, until it all came crashing down and he was left disfigured and exiled from his homeland. Now he lurks in shadows, helping out other troubled supernaturals and growling at David for being both human and far too attractive. He is grumpy at first, but I loved how David’s charm and quirks slowly work their magic on Alun, bringing out the man beneath the sulking beast.
I really enjoyed how things progressed between the pair of them, and I even liked it when the action moved over to the faerie realm. It wasn’t quite as fun or charming as the beginning, though, and things became a little predictable and a bit too much like many other fae stories I’d read before. David remained brilliantly entertaining, even under stress, so it was still enjoyable. However, it does all move pretty fast, and I’d really like to know a lot more about many, many things (Cassie, that new album, more clients, the lack of Welshness in Alun’s accent, etc), I also wish the romance hadn’t been slightly shoved aside in favour of the curse-solving problem.
In all, though, this was a great start to this series, funny and cute and quirky. The supernatural element was nice and I enjoyed the romance, but really, this is all about David, and I would happily read an entire series devoted simply to him and his new life dealing with supernatural community. Sadly, I don’t think I’m going to get that, so I’ll just have to settle for Alun’s brothers instead. Can’t wait.
Cutie and the Beast is out July 24th.
Visit E.J. Russell for more details.